New Jan Term Class Celebrates Women's History

By Melanie Conrad

Despite four decades as a coed school, the College has no separate archives of the history of women on campus. Monica Fitzgerald wants to change that through her Jan Term class, "The Skirts Are Coming," which will educate students about women at Saint Mary's.

"So many females don't know women's recent history," says Fitzgerald, an assistant professor in the Liberal & Civic Studies Program. In her class, students will research women at Saint Mary's while reading about broader issues outside campus. They will interview the members of the first generation of women at Saint Mary's, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive archive of primary sources. 

"Saint Mary's opened its doors to women right around the time of the second wave of feminism, so it fits the national movement," she says.

Now, women comprise more than 60 percent of the student body.

Fitzgerald hopes students will leave her class with more knowledge of women's history and an understanding of the inequalities women face today. She cites wages and popular music as two areas where modern women suffer, even if they do not realize it. 

Outside the classroom, Fitzgerald hopes to put together events  to further educate students on women's history at Saint Mary's. 

Fitzgerald's eyes light up as she discusses the plans for her class, the first of its kind at the College. "It's a way for women to pay attention."